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Personal profile


Dr Emily Don is a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences at Macquarie University with a focus on teaching in biomedical sciences and research involving zebrafish models of neurodegenerative disease. Emily completed her PhD in the Department of Anatomy and Histology at the University of Sydney.  Her PhD researched focused on the genetic basis of limb development and loss using zebrafish as a model system.  In 2013, she joined the newly formed Motor Neuron Disease Research Centre at Macquarie University to transition into neuroscience research by applying her previous experience in zebrafish models to the field of motor neuron disease research. After increasingly engaging with the developing teaching program in the Faculty, in 2018, Emily was appointed as a lecturer of Professional Practice, reflecting her keen interest in the intersection of research and professionalism. Since then, Emily has continued to pursue her educational specialist goals by convening and leading teaching in a variety of subjects in an innovative and student first approach. 


Dr Emily Don first began teaching in 2010 at the University of Sydney. She has diverse teaching interests in subjects ranging from professionalism in the clinical sciences, anatomy and histology, motor neuron disease and genetics. She has completed the Foundations in Learning and Teaching course and is currently completing her AHEA fellowship. She has a keen focus on engaging, online delivery of lecture content combined with on campus tutoring and is currently teaching the following classes:

Unit Convenor -Foundations in Ethics and Society, B.ClinSci

Unit Co-Convenor -Human Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine, FSE

Theme Lead -Embryology, Year 1 MQMD

Theme Lead -Histology, Year 1 MQMD

Guest lecture/tutor:
MEDI2200 -Human Cell and Molecular Biology
MEDI3200 -Translational Biology and Genomics
MEDI7004 -Decoding the human brain
MEDI7007 -Unlocking mechanisms of disease

Teaching and Leadership

As a level B academic, Emily is developing her teaching leadership through continued training and participates in the following teaching leadership activities:

Member of the FMHHS Faculty Discipline Committee

Member of the B.ClinSci Professional Practice working group

Contributor and Presenter to FMHHS Connect teaching program

Member of Macquarie University's Teaching and Leadership community of practice

Associate Fellow of Macquarie University's HDR Supervision Framework

Applicant for Higher Education Academy Fellowship

Member B.ClinSci Learning Outcomes review committee

Peer-Reviewer HLTH109 Unit Review, Beginning to Teach program

Research interests

Dr Don has previously developed a molecular toolkit for the generation of zebrafish models of neurodegenerative disease.  Using this toolkit, the team has established several zebrafish models of motor neuron disease and transgenic lines for the in vivo, real time study of the nervous system.  Emily’s research aims to build on that work by developing a molecular toolkit of genetically encoded reporters in order to study the development and aging of the nervous system and the pathology of neurodegenerative disease in zebrafish models.

Research student supervision

Associate Supervisor

-Natalie Scherer, PhD
-Andres Vidal-Itriago, PhD

Previous students

-Nicholas Kakaroubas, MRes2, Primary Supervisor
-Maddy Tym, MRes2
-Alison Hogan, PhD
-Jack Stoddart, PhD

Community engagement

President and Founding Member of the FMHHS EnCouRage network for ECRs

Member Executive Group of the Macquarie University Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research

Member Philantropy Group of the Macquarie University Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research

State Representative for the Australia and New Zealand Cell and Developmental Biology society

Internal Contact for Franklin Women Academic Partner with MQ Health

External positions


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